After 10 hours, I finally arrived at Narita Airport around 3:50pm. Quickly navigating my way through the many travelers and security gates, I met up with one of our IES supervisors, Mariko. Shortly after exchanging currency and picking up my SIM card, I was ready to leave the airport and begin my journey.
My first day in Japan was rather uneventful, giving me the opportunity to recover from my jet lag. The three of us, Ian, Tatum, and I were checked into our hotel rooms and told to prepare for our orientation that awaits us at the IES center.
Our orientation was a success. An IES staff, Yurina, showed us the various customs and rules of etiquette for our homestay life, such as the greetings when entering or leaving a house, knowing the rooms we can and cannot enter, and communicating with our host family (or in me and Ian’s case, our host mom!). We then left the IES building to explore the beautiful Chiba area and to look at the college where I would be spending most of my time. We ended our explorations by eating Kaitenzushi (回転寿司), a restaurant where food is delivered via conveyor belt.
Later in the week, I began my position at Kanda University’s SALC (Self-Access Learning Center). I met and talked with my supervisor Jo who introduced me to the plethora of amazing staff and faculty I would be working with during my time. Many of the professors are native born English speakers from various countries including the U.S., New Zealand, and the U.K.
While I have just barely started my position at the SALC, I’ve met many skilled students with an array of interests and majors, and I’m looking forward to meeting many more.
Finally, I end the week with a trip into the greater Tokyo area. I met up with Technos College Intern, Devesh, where we then explored Shibuya and Akihabara together. Between these two areas, there is quit a lot to do including eating at the numerous restaurants, visiting bookstores, playing in arcades (we became very familiar with them), and all the while practicing our Japanese. Being able to use Japanese in a native environment is both challenging and rewarding and I can’t wait to progress even further into the language within the various environments I hope to experience.
Until next week